Aging Hormones: How To Decide If HRT Is Right For You

  • Women's Health
  • anti-aging - OB/GYN
  • March 28, 2022

Reaping the numerous benefits of HRT depends on a patient’s age, health, and family history for an individual.

Weighing The Pros & Cons Of HRT

From hot flashes to trouble sleeping to vaginal dryness, symptoms of menopause lead many patients to consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Using a blend of hormones like estrogen, progestin, and sometimes testosterone, patients can manage uncomfortable symptoms of menopause that last 5 years or more. While minimizing symptoms can help many women live more easily with menopause, the benefits depend on age and family medical history. HRT must be tailored to the individual patient and lifestyle for safe and long-lasting results.

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Starting HRT

The efficacy of HRT depends on a person’s age and overall health. Physicians suggest that hormones are most effective in healthy women under 60 years of age, within 10 years of the onset of menopause. Peolover 60 that start HRT 10 years or more after the beginning of menopause are at an increased risk for potential health risks, including heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. To maximize the symptom-busting benefits of HRT, some doctors recommend starting hormone therapy within 10 years of the onset of menopause.

Family history matters

HRT may not be a viable option if a patient shows a proclivity to health concerns that increase risk. Doctors do not recommend HRT if a patient has a family medical history, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, blood clots, liver disease, and osteoporosis. Ultimately, the patient must assess family history and decide if the benefits of HRT outweigh the potential risks.

The good news

Along with age, the level of risk associated with HRT depends on the type of hormones and the patient. To minimize any health issues, healthcare professionals recommend minimizing medication intake while engaging in hormone therapy. Numerous clinical studies reveal that estrogen, with or without progestogen, effectively helps such conditions as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, and bone loss. Without these symptoms, many women report a much higher quality of life.

Thriving in menopause with hormone therapy

While HRT must be tailored to the individual patient to prevent potential health risks, the therapy can effectively treat hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal symptoms, and bone thinning. Whether hormones will benefit a patient depends on age, the type of hormones, and family history. To ensure safe and effective treatment women must maintain a healthy lifestyle while regularly seeking and attending follow-up care.

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